The biocatalytic efficiency of recombinant Corynebacterium glutamicum ATCC 13032 expressing the secondary alcohol dehydrogenase of Micrococcus luteus NCTC2665 was studied. Recombinant C. glutamicum converts ricinoleic acid to a product, identified by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry as 12-ketooleic acid (12-oxo-cis-9-octadecenoic acid). The effects of pH, reaction temperature, and non-ionic detergent on recombinant C. glutamiucm whole cell bioconversion were examined. The determined optimal conditions for production of 12-ketooleic acid are pH 8.0, 35 degrees C, and 0.05 g/l Tween80. Under these conditions, recombinant C. glutamicum produces 3.3 mM 12-ketooleic acid, with a 72% (mol/mol) maximum conversion yield, and 1.1 g/l/h volumetric productivity in 2 h; and 3.9 mM 12-ketooleic acid, with a 74% (mol/mol) maximum conversion yield, and 0.69 g/l/h maximum volumetric productivity in 4 h of fermentation. This study constitutes the first report of significant production of 12-ketooleic acid using a recombinant Corynebacterium glutamicum-based biocatalyst.